University Collegium and Uniarts Board discussed social influence 3.6.2024

This news article has been translated by using translation programme so there might be some inaccuracies.

The joint workshop of the University Collegium and the Board was held on 3.6.2024. The theme of the workshop was social influence. Collegium Chair Tuire Kuusi, Rector Kaarlo Hildén and Board Member Sini Kaartinen gave short introductions to the topic. The presentations discussed, among other things, artistic, academic and freedom of expression of opinions and the related responsibilities, dialogue between the university’s various actors, the importance of being heard, the formation of the university’s view, the limits of its competence and its possibilities to influence. As part of Kaartinen’s presentation, we also heard a petition drawn up by an active student, teacher and alumni group calling on the University to demand the genocide in Gaza.

The discussion on these complex issues took place in a constructive and respectful spirit and addressed the themes of the presentations from a variety of perspectives. It was essential that there should be room for different views in the university community and that students should have the opportunity to make a difference. University members must also be able to critically evaluate their own university. Equally important was the importance of defining concepts, whose mouth the university speaks through and how the university’s view is formed. For his part, the rector responded to the demands of the petition, and the importance of communication became apparent; how messages would reach community members.

We will continue to need places where this type of debate can take place on difficult subjects. Representatives of the Student Union have also been invited to discuss these topics at the workshop of the Board and the Collegium next autumn. The Chair of the Collegium also expressed the wish that the university would organise an open discussion event for community members. We will return to these plans during autumn 2024.